Riley had always wanted to own a Porsche. In early October 2013, Riley found a red Porsche available for sale. Riley went to the finance company to arrange finance to complete the sale and granted a security interest over the Porsche in favour of the finance company.
Riley made his regular loan repayments and took good care of his new pride and joy. In August 2015 Riley moved from his home in Palmerston North to Wellington and changed jobs. Riley contacted the finance company and said that he may miss a few payments with the change but he would try to make them up once he had been established in his new job.
Unbeknownst to Riley, the finance company was concerned that Riley had missed too many payments and that his loan was growing with default interest. The finance company sent Riley several letters and a pre-possession warning notice advising him to remedy the default or it would repossess the Porsche.
One day a repossession agent arrived on Riley’s doorstep in Wellington and repossessed the Porsche. Riley was distraught. It turned out that the finance company had sent letters to Riley’s old address as it had not been advised that Riley had moved.
Riley tried to negotiate with the finance company and to clear the arrears but he was unable to do so and his Porsche was sold in September 2015.
Riley complained to FSCL.
We asked Riley’s finance company for its file and reviewed the process it had followed when repossessing and selling the Porsche.
Riley complained that the finance company had unreasonably repossessed the Porsche when he was still making payments and fully intended to clear the arrears. Riley also said that pre-possession and post-possession notices should have been sent to him by email and that the finance company should have taken further steps to contact him prior to the repossession and sale of the Porsche.
Riley was also upset that some of his personal items were in the Porsche when it was seized, and they appeared to have been sold with the Porsche.
We decided that Riley’s complaint was suitable for conciliation and we scheduled a conciliation with Riley and the finance company to discuss what had happened and to explore options for resolution.
Riley and the finance company were able to reach a confidential settlement at the conciliation conference.
To assist in resolving complaints for participants we can hold conciliations where the parties can discuss matters confidentially to try to reach a resolution. Anything that is discussed in a conciliation remains confidential. If a dispute is unable to be resolved at conciliation, FSCL will continue its investigation and may make a determination on the available evidence.